Before the fist in your belly tightens,
pulls you from your deep blue sleep,
plucks the strings of your hunger,
a minor chord echoing down the hall,
I feel the burn of your need:
milk-hard breasts, wheelbarrows
heavy with river rock.
This is the weight of mercy,
the body’s need to empty itself,
to fill another.
(How could the bowel compare?)
And as you drink deep, gasping,
our skin becomes a veil, our cells
translating a language we
don’t need to understand,
your tongue, lapping, tells me
what you need, my body answers.
The truest kind of prayer:
the mouth, the open throat.